Jurisdiction agreements – not just for contracting parties?

The recent Supreme Court decision in VTB Capital plc v Nutritek International Corp and Others [2013] UKSC 5 has generated a significant amount of publicity, primarily because of the Claimant's failed attempt to pierce the corporate veil (click here for more information about this aspect of the case). However, this was just one of the issues that the Supreme Court had to consider in the context of the Claimant's application to serve proceedings out of the jurisdiction.

The Claimant also alleged that it had been induced to enter into a Facility Agreement by fraudulent misrepresentations for which the Defendants were jointly and severally liable and it attempted to rely on a non-exclusive jurisdiction clause in the Facility Agreement in support of its argument that England was the appropriate forum for the determination of its tortious claims against the Defendants.

This bulletin focuses on the Supreme Court's comments on the impact of a non-exclusive jurisdiction clause in such a situation. All the members of the Supreme Court agreed that this was a relevant factor - although they attached varying degrees of importance to it and the majority ultimately upheld the first instance judge's decision that England was not the appropriate forum for the determination of the dispute.